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March 09, 2008

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Ed Darrell

As you describe it, it seems likely that Shereshevsky inherited some of his remarkable ability to remember from his father.

So I wonder: Did Shereshevsky have children? Did they inherit any of his memory ability? How about their children?

Does the book say?

Romeo Vitelli

Thanks for writing. Shereshevsky was married and had one child. He also had several siblings who were accomplished musicians but there doesn't seem to be any real information on any of them. As I said, there is little available aside from Luria's book about Shereshevsky's later life or what happened to his other family members. So far as I know, he was the only professional mnemonist in the family.

knd

Recently, there has been the case of an hypermnesic (or hyperthymestic) woman who was investigated by a team of neurologists & neuropsychologists. They published their report in Neurocase: http://www.ocregister.com/newsimages/news/2006/03/13case.pdf

She is now publishing a book based on her story:
http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?tab=25&pid=616326


Romeo Vitelli

Thank you for telling me about this intriguing case. I note that there are some similiarities between this case and Shereshevsky in terms of problems with executive functioning and ability to use analogies. Her autobiography should be a fascinating read.

Sergio Sanabria

Jorge Luis Borges' short story, Funes the Memorious, published in 1942, included in his collection Ficciones in 1944, invents an extreme case of absolute recall, which allows him to speculate on philosophical consequences for what is in effect a complete mental reconstruction of the world. Some believe Borges was inspired by Luria's research, but if Luria's report was published in 1968 that would not be possible. Did Luria publish anything on Shereshevskii in the 1930s? If not, would Borges very famous story have influenced some of the questions Luria raises?

Romeo  Vitelli

It's hard to say for sure whether Borges was aware of Luria's work. He was certainly multilingual and had links to what was happening in the Soviet Union. Shereshevski was also moderately famous due to his being a professional mnemonist for a time so Borges may have heard about him directly.

Tori

I need to cite this page. Author's name?

Romeo  Vitelli

Just my name, Romeo Vitelli.

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